By: Shawn Narain
Some students wake up in the morning, notice they’re running late and have the option of driving to school to save some time. You get in your car, get your music going and you’re on you way. You start counting down every minute as you get closer and closer to school. However once you arrive here the line to the parking garage seems endless and you don’t get any leeway since you are a student. You are so close to class yet so far.
This is the case for Joshua Castellanos every morning as he drives to school. “I know we all have to get to class but it’s a pain in the ass to try to come here on time and then still be late for class when you are right in front of the building”. Students find it difficult to park at other parking garages, as well being that the closest ones are right in between 10th and 11th Ave on 59th street.
Sonat Amilcar, the manager for one of these parking garages stated that two years ago John Jay did have a contract for student parking arrangements for $14.00 as the early bird special instead of $15.00 which is the regular rate.
“We didn’t find the arrangements with the students to be profitable and it brought too much stress for the property and the operations here.” This quote was presented to many students and raised a few eyebrows. “How could it not be profitable? The student body is massive.” said Anthony Smith. This dilemma has been going on quite a couple of years now. Students are not pleased and parking attendants are not either.
As MTA fares increased students find their own ways to travel to school which include car pooling. Rocky Ramotar who is a recent graduate from John Jay commented with his tactics with his friends when he was attending John Jay. “ I remember that endless line early in the morning but what we decided to do was car pool with a bunch of friends and split the bill.” Rocky was curious while he was attending John Jay as to why parking was so expensive as well. He didn’t look into it much but just found ways to make it easier just like a lot of things students do to adjust.
Sonat Amilcar stated that there is no chance he would consider bringing back the contract for the same reasons of it not being profitable. A lot of questions and opinions have been raised from this one quote from the manager. “Adjustments and alternatives are one way but its about time students speak up, college is expensive as is, we need to go after ways to make it cheaper on us especially when it comes to motives of transportation.”
Raveena Ramoutar who is a student at John Jay, felt strongly about the parking situation. “Having late classes makes us girls feel worried sometimes to take the train. You never know what can happen. That’s why I drive to class I know safety comes at a cost but it seems fair to have a student discount for parking here.” Driving to school seems to be a safer alternative to students in comparison to taking public transportation.
John Jay College also has a say in the parking arrangement, Ryan Lopez who is a Public Safety Officer stated “Students pass by the front desk throughout the day and ask to have their parking receipts stamped but we have had complaints that they have not worked towards a discount.”
Imagine getting a gift card to a store only to find out that it isn’t valid? Vanessa Johnson who is apart of the Public Safety Department commented on the status of the contract “ We know that it was revoked 2 years ago and that based on the manager’s (Sonat Amilcar) stance on the subject it was not working out.” This does not mean there aren’t anymore parking garages that offer discounts for students. However, it does take away the leisure of being in closer proximity to arrive to class on time during the rush.
The parking arrangements near John Jay has continued to be a topic for quite some time now. Students have created hacks such as carpooling like Rocky suggested. The profit for the business raised questions for student and their doubts, But what about students like Raveena who drive to feel safer? Well, according to Sonat Amilcar in regards to returning the discount contract “No Chance” the student body seems to have alternative routes of opinion in regards to that answer.